A classic from the archives, Something Else is the fifth studio album by The Kinks and gets a loving reissue on Sanctuary. On 140g vinyl with the original UK tracklisting, it’s the last Kinks album to be produced by Shel Talmy and showcases one part of a mid-career high that’s still an influence today. Out on vinyl LP from Sanctuary.
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8/10 Andy L Customer review, 8th January 2015
'The Village Green Preservation Society' may the one that gets all the plaudits, but 'Something Else' can lay claim to being just as good in it's own way, featuring some of the best of Ray Davies' songwriting, which of course means it's up there with the some of the best songwriting ever.
Opening with public school satire 'David Watts' (later made famous by The Jam), 'Something Else' is a bit of a dry run for 'VGPS', lacking the overarching concept, but still rating high on essential Englishness and also delving into such standard Davies topics as identikit suburbia ('Tin Soldier'), idle affluence ('End of the Season) and sibling rivalry ('Two Sisters', apparently a coded comment on the band's brother problems). What does it sound like? Well, it sounds like The Kinks, that is to say that there's plenty of sprightly sixties RnB based guitar pop, a bit of copycat psychedelia (Davies was never one to overlook to convenience of hijacking bandwagons), some Cockney knees-up pleasantries (Dave Davies' 'Death of a Clown') and enough good humour and essential pathos for most bands to base their entire careers on.
'Afternoon Tea', with it's understated, very British sense of romance and charming, Davies brothers vocal interplay, would be quite enough to carry the LP on it's own, but alongside the infectious 'Harry Rag', 'David Watts', 'Lazy Old Sun' and the rest, 'Something Else' is easily capable of unveiling masterpieces one after another. There is a little filler - Dave Davies' other compositions don't quite come up to the mark and 'Situations Vacant' is distinctly Kinks by numbers, but all in all this is an essential album by a band too often dismissed as a 'singles act'. Oh, and it's got 'Waterloo Sunset' on it - what else could you possibly want from a Kinks album?
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